Cover photo for Harriet Speck's Obituary
1929 Harriet 2022

Harriet Speck

February 14, 1929 — January 9, 2022

Denver, CO

Harriet Speck, 92, beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and friend and mentor to many passed away on January 9, 2022.

Harriet was born in Denver on Valentine’s Day in 1929 to Ruth and Erhard Froese. She grew up in Denver and graduated from East High School in 1946. She graduated from the University of Colorado in 1950, then taught Spanish at Ft Collins High School for a year. In 1951, Harriet married third-year medical student Richard Speck (Dick) and taught in Denver until his graduation in 1953. From 1953 to July 1969, the two traversed the US for Dick’s post-graduate medical training, interspersed with a general practice in Cortez, CO. They lived a year each in Kansas City, MO, Roanoke, VA, Wheaton, MD, and Wallingford, CT. Fond memories were made with children Mary, Rich, and Bill in Connecticut on “educational” trips every other weekend to New York, Boston, and New England. The family settled in Denver in 1970. Dick and Harriet designed and built their forever home at 3984 S Ivy Way in 1974, where Harriet lived until February 2020.

Harriet had a long career of substitute teaching Spanish, French, and Latin at junior high and high schools in Denver Public Schools, retiring from that in 2007. She was a faithful member at Grace United Methodist Church where she taught Sunday School and supported many church programs. She was a member of the Denver Chapter of Freedoms Foundation, writing and submitting nominations for outstanding individuals for national awards; and was proud to officiate at naturalization ceremonies with members of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Harriet was a 60+-year member of P.E.O. and cherished enduring friendships with her chapter sisters. Dick and Harriet were avid CU football fans and attended the home games for many, many years.

Harriet supported her kids and grandkids in football, wresting, lacrosse, piano lessons, Spanish tutoring, and swimming. She loved gardening, playing tennis, sewing, playing bridge, working crossword puzzles, lunching with her friends, and walking two miles every day. Always learning, she enjoyed Active Mind lectures, and travels took her to Europe twice, the Bahamas, Kauai, and several cities for Dick’s WWII Panther Division reunions.

Friends describe Harriet as gentle, sweet, curious, loyal, supportive, dedicated, generous, special, funny, strong, and humble. She was gracious and welcomed everyone of all ages into her life. Most of all, she was loving – she loved and supported her family and friends without question and always supported them with words of wisdom and encouragement. Harriet was especially proud of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, who will remember her for her unending and unconditional love and support.

Harriet is survived by:

Brother:                      Charles Froese and wife Martha and family

Daughter:                    Mary Speck and husband Dennis Miller

Son:                            Richard Speck and wife Debbi

Son:                            Bill Speck and wife Susan

Grandchildren:            Kyle Speck and wife Tarah

Lindsey (Speck) Reith and husband Shawn

Jennifer Speck and Tevin Champagne

Tyler Speck

Great Grandchildren:  Molly and Lochlan

There will be a celebration of life when we can safely be together. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Grace United Methodist Church, The Denver Hospice (, or a charity of choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Harriet Speck, please visit our flower store.


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